|A typical 24 Point British Force.|
Sunday, September 18, 2016
The Men Who Would be Kings - The opening volley.
Wednesday night saw the first run through of The Men Who Would be Kings Rules and what a close run thing it was.
We opted for Scenario H "A sigh of Relief"
A classic scenario suited to the Zulu wars which see's the British holding the camp as the Zulu's deployed on the table edge looking to over run them before reinforcements come on to drive them away.
On the face of it, it could have been all over in a couple of moves, the Zulu's filled the table edge and the limited defenders stood and waited as the range markers went out. They needed to hang on long enough for the relief to arrive.
Was this enough to hold the line?
The Zulu's advanced forward in a clasic formation with the horn's looking to encircle the the British, with a free activation to move they looked unstoppable. In a rare moment of bravery The Natal Native Contingent charge into the Zulu left wing, but are badly beaten and forced back.
Turn 2 the British let off a ragged volley which kills few but does pin a Zulu unit, but those damn Zulu's are getting rather close.
Turn 4 British Reinforcements start to make their way onto the table as the right horn moves forward to slow their advance. Menawhile the chest makes it's move on the camp.
Turn 5 in the British Centre a poor command roll leaves the British unable to form close order and open to a charge by the Zulu Impi which forces the British back due some rather good Zulu dice.
Turn 6 With the British now falling back through the camp the Zulu's push for victory. But do you think I could shift the last of the British despite being down to two figures the Officer and his trusty Colour Sargeant they hold the line and defeat the next zulu attack, the Zulu's are pinned attempt to rally and fall back.... Good old British cold steel...
Turn 7 The British Player gaining experience hits upon a tactic that was to ultimately win him the game. Concentrating his volley fire on a single unit, he empties its ranks of warriors, shooting down it's leader, pins it and then sends in the cavalry.
Turn 8 The Zulu's morale starts to falter as units are shot to pieces and are ultimately destroyed, the Zulu line on observing this halts, units become pinned and start to fall backwards, just as I felt they had won the day and were ready to press home their advantage.
Turn 9 The Zulu right wing finally comes into action having ditched the idea of moving at the double and simply taking it's free activation to move, it charges into the British line and scores well reducing another British unit down to a single Officer.
Turn 10 The number of casualties on the Zulu side starts to take it's toll and units are pinned across the battlefield and every failed rally checks forces them backwards. The Zulu's had lost a number leaders which was making the recovery of units and issuing of order really hard.
The Cavalry picking their moments continue to drive the battered units backwards charging into pinned units before they can recover.
By the skin of their teeth the Brits hold on to win the day, the Zulu's unable to get to formed units to stand infront of the camp for a turn are forced from the table. The only significant Zulu unit left has no leader and every rally check failed will only force them backwards away from the objective.
The rules have a very satisfactory feel to them and the result a fair relection of the troops available, the NNC were rubbish and the Red Line held firm, The figure removal can occasionaly make the table look a little thin with 2 figure units still running around but that could be put down to good dice rolls.
The rules are not overly complicated and the don't have endless charts to refer to which means turns flow quickly allowing you to get through game turns fast, really important during an evenings gaming as they allow you to get to a an outcome rather than the "what if's" when we just run out of time.
An hour in and we knew the required scores and orders without the need to refer to the rule book.
In terms of in house tweaks we considered altering the rules on Volley Fire, within the rules thay have an 180 degree arc which we considered limiting this to only frontally and perhaps introducing a CinC to step in with one extra test espically if you have a bunch of Officers who are pretty bad...
We missed out the additional Officers Characteristic's but will bring these in next time as they look like they will add an interesting touch to the games.